No pressure, but....

Had a call from my dad this weekend, and in the course of the conversation he brought up the need for my son and I to get us to a church group a.s.a.p. You know that old saying, "a coal taken from the fire soon grows cold" etc. Well, it was hauled out again and quoted. Not in a bad way, but in a "we're concerned for you" way.

I can't seem to explain sufficiently that I'm not in a place right now where I can get me to a cellgroup, especially the ones he was mentioning. I understand his view that we can't find a perfect fit, and those little tensions within a group are part of our growth experience. I've heard all the angles on that, but I simply can't do it right now.

And yet I don't know how to explain why I can't. I can't seem to put into words that I can't stomach people in a Bible-study ring at the moment. Or that I really just need time out for a while, without being bothered to get back into the group.

My youngest brother has not been to church or involved in anything like that for many years now. It's only recently they've considered finding a church group to attend regularly. Yet I don't recall him being under pressure to get involved. It might be because there isn't a kid in the picture (and I have one), or because he was never hugely into church (while I was deep into the leadership and involvement thing). The contrast between me being in and out of church is greater than it would be for him. People notice when I'm not doing church, simply because I was so into it in the past. It doesn't help that I can still come up with creative worship ideas at the drop of a hat - even though I wouldn't do them myself, because I simply can't right now.

I honestly don't know how to deal with this. I don't want to hurt my parents by the things I COULD say against my current church attendance, denominational involvement and other churchy bits. They are, after all, a pastoral couple, and loyal to the church they serve and live within, the one I was raised in. I'm not sure they can relate to this need I have to completely step back and be alone for a while. I tried to explain it yesterday, but it didn't work. Perhaps if they read my blog regularly they'd get it - but they don't, and in some ways that's a good thing. (I wonder if they'll get this sudden urge to check in and find this though!).

Most folk have left me alone to go my way on my own journey, but it's hard for parents to do, especially when they're on the other end of the planet and don't know what's happening day-to-day. I don't think they have a point of reference for someone who needs to fling themselves far out into space on an eliptical orbit around the church for a while. Sure, I can understand they're worried about my son's spirituality - I have been to. But heading back to church in any form (Church church or Cell Group church) is something I simply cannot do right now. Not for a while still.

And if/once I do, I can't guarantee it will be a place they'd expect.

Been thinking about this today, and I've realized that the more people try to push me into a place I'm not ready for, the more I run away from it with all I have. With all of the pushing I've received from various quarters recently I'm becoming less and less inclined to ever go back to church! Perhaps I should be wearing a warning label??? :)